Southgate senior complex revitalized

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Sixty-eight-year-old Barbara Schilling couldn't be happier with her new "four-butt kitchen."

Schilling was among the residents of Carson City's Southgate Apartments community who said she is thrilled with the recent makeover and addition to the complex.

"I used to have a one-butt kitchen, but now I've got a four-butt kitchen," she said, laughingly referring to the bigger apartment she recently moved into, with a kitchen that can accommodate four people (and their posteriors).

"I also use the new swimming pool and hot tub just about every day. I do lap swimming and then get in the hot tub."

Southgate Apartments, an affordable income senior housing complex, is located on California Street off Fairview Drive. Rent is based on a sliding scale.

The 100 existing units, originally built 30 years ago, were modernized to include ceiling fans, new flooring and wall treatments, dishwashers, microwaves, weatherization and low-energy appliances, said Gary Longaker, executive director of Nevada Rural Housing Authority.

In addition, the recreation room was rehabbed to include a pool table, bingo facilities, TV, library and computer center. Two elevators were added to the complex, as well as a powered lap pool, hot tub and xeriscape landscaping.

"They are primarily senior apartments, but there are some families and disabled people living there," Longak-

er said.

The renovation and addition project, started in May 2008, was undertaken in response to a need for more affordable senior housing in the community.

"We are fulfilling our mission to improve quality of life," he said.

"The new Southgate units are pleasant and cheery and the project has had a huge economic impact," said Dali Wiederhoft, spokeswoman for the NRHA.

Longaker agreed.

"We've punched $17.5 million into the local economy with this construction and rehab, and we put 171 people to work," Longaker said. "This generates tax dollars for the city."

Sharon Ryan, Southgate's property manager for the past three years, said she has received an outpouring of positive responses from residents.

"They truly love it and the new people are just thrilled to be here," Ryan said.

"The construction went pretty smoothly and I am 100 percent occupied right now. We had to leave so many (units) vacant during the remodeling," she said.

Harry Jordan, a 78-year-old who has lived at Southgate for five years, talked as he set up his bingo cards in preparation for the Wednesday afternoon game played by about 20 residents. He said he was very happy with the new accommodations.

"It's like being on a new vacation all the time around here," Jordan said.

And 70-year-old Gordon Stout, who just moved into one of the renovated units three months ago, said one of the main reasons he is so happy at Southgate is because "the people are so darn nice here - everyone is."

Nevada Rural Housing Authority partnered in the Southgate Apartment project with Desert Winds Development Group, Roope, LLC, Enterprise Community Investment, Nevada Housing Division, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Bank of Nevada, Idaho-Nevada CDFI and Western Nevada Home Consortium.

Housing inquiries can be made to NRHA at 887-1795 or by logging on to http://www.nvrural.org or by sending an e-mail to info@nvrural.org.

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